Trilobite is an arthropodologist's delight:
many bizarre creatures; no two alike.

three poems

Jesse Nissim

What to Say

My partner is growing past her body’s imagination

our baby is trapped in a small place

I’ve been doing research on what to call myself

a book says rhythm is everything

my cousin Stacey says try the ice cube

on the neck trick you don’t have to say much

my trepidation is no surprise

sorry already for my shortcomings

another position might work like a juice flavor

if we reach the tipping point will they release

the hormone to start tepid prelabor will the dog

tattle to the neighbors or our mothers will I untie

every twistie in the freezer make topfoil casseroles

tape them down for the uncertain future

In the Night I Go to The Kitchen

To sanitize an object

that has many parts.

Your body turns in

grey sheets while

your face participates

in a dream. All of our

old predictions make

interesting measuring

sticks. When I think

of effort, I think

scale it down.

What is going on

for example in the

dreams I am not

having? What about

the unmet wishes

while we are here

placing bottles upside-

down on clean towels?

There is an ocean full

of grey foam, rising,

falling, with no

detectable pattern.

I’d like to know

at what point did I

begin to want to know

all the things that can’t

be known? Someone

told me all predictions

are faulty. It may not

matter what we want.

Yesterday, I placed

my hand on the baby’s

chest and felt the flutter.

I cannot take the

temperature of this

feeling. I am full

of your awake face.


To make an event I cause a problem

I come into a room with a leaden necklace

I come into a house with wet sand

My mind is full of E. coli

I scrub and apply heat

Wait for the residue to loosen

Improvisation is my main way forward

I am allowed to write two lines

after grading each paper

a poetic dream reward

Even though I am not a STEM person

I still grow

I am not a value

I feel as if I don’t know how

to make something happen

will I really siphon water from the sandbox

rake all the leaves downhill?